An interesting word for Wednesday is the noun hibernaculum (hi-ber-nak-yoo-lum), meaning winter quarters or the den of a hibernating animal. I think I’ve used this word before, and probably right around this time of year.


SWFA has put out a sampler of its programming examples for its Nebula Weekend, scheduled for May 28-31, 2020, in Los Angeles.

From funny cats, two sleeping cats. Is this a hibernaculum?

Is this a hibernaculum? (Image from Funny Cats.)

Books and Writing:

Right around Christmas, the Romance Writers Association (RWA) had a kerfuffle that escalated into a full meltdown. They tried to sanction a member, highly successful romance writer and former RWA board member for using Twitter to comment harshly on the stereotypical portrayals of Chinese women in another writer’s novel. Christine Milan, who writes as Courtney Milan, is Chinese-American and has long been known as an outspoken advocate for racial equality. RWA was taken by surprise when Milan, who was being scolded for using Twitter, made the situation public on Twitter. Before the dust cleared, board members resigned, the actions against Milan were rescinded, and there’s a movement to recall other board members and the acting president. This article on the NBC News blog, by Mikki Kenall discusses why this kind of thing matters, from a reason so obvious it’s often overlooked: Money. (Thanks to File770 for this link.)

Claire Ryan took on the arduous task of creating a timeline and compiling the existing documents in this situation. I applaud her. (I also can’t help noticing some other issues crop up – noticeably, the RWA is cozy with certain publishers, and they didn’t help some writers get their royalties, which is what these organizations primarily exist for.) If you have a couple of hours, check this out.

SFWA stepped in to offer support for romance writers who were debating leaving the RWA. SWFA President May Robinette Kowal pointed out that if romance work has a speculative element it could qualify for SFWA. The Writer Beware Blog Facebook Page has some information about this – and some controversy as you’d expect.

Mark Lawrence shared some one-star Amazon reviews that complain about things beyond the writer’s control – really beyond their control. The post is funny, but Lawrence also points out that those reviews affect earnings.

From December, Alastair Reynolds discusses  the best books on extraterrestrial visitations.

In preparation for the latest WAYWARD CHILDREN book, Seanan McGuire stopped by the offices and provided this recap of the previous books.


I will give one commenter a copy of An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard.


Fantasy Faction has a list of 2019’s best anime.

A graphic of perihelion, courtesy of Universe Today

Perihelion as a graphic, by Universe Today.

Science and Tech:

Ars Technica takes an acerbic look at tech companies who, umm, didn’t live up to their potential in 2019… or else really did live up to their potential. Their potential for failure.


Will the ‘20s be the Decade of Mars?

On January 5, the earth reached perihelion.


This is a powerful personal essay about the fires in Australia.


  • Marion Deeds

    Marion Deeds, with us since March, 2011, is the author of the fantasy novella ALUMINUM LEAVES. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthologies BEYOND THE STARS, THE WAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, STRANGE CALIFORNIA, and in Podcastle, The Noyo River Review, Daily Science Fiction and Flash Fiction Online. She’s retired from 35 years in county government, and spends some of her free time volunteering at a second-hand bookstore in her home town.

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